An innovative acceleration program for young companies located in Niger, Burkina Faso and Senegal will soon see the light of day. Supported by Investors & Partners (I&P) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the program, the launch of which has just been announced, consists of original seed funding intended for start-ups and Sahel SME.

This program will support start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises with high potential in order to facilitate their access to financing, in a region where the ecosystem of support for entrepreneurship is still underdeveloped, we learned. . The partnership between I&P and USAID aims to provide a concrete solution to one of the major obstacles facing start-ups in sub-Saharan Africa: access to seed capital.

The two structures indicate in a joint statement that the objective is to provide access to finance to 52 SMEs over the next three years. In order to maximize their chances of raising funds, the program will combine seed financing, in the form of repayable advances without interest, and personalized support for companies by investment experts, namely the teams of the Sinergi Niger funds, Sinergi Burkina and Teranga Capital supported by I&P.

Thanks to USAID support, this move will have a strong leverage effect on private capital flows in Africa, it is claimed. Nearly 5 million euros are expected to be raised in debt and capital from funds, banks and business angels over the period for the benefit of young SMEs whose needs are between 30,000 and 300,000 euros.

It should be noted that in the Sahelian region, the ecosystem of support for start-ups and SMEs is not very developed and there are still very few incubators capable of bringing about the emergence of Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) ready to be financed by an investment fund. ‘investment. The program aims to fill this gap and will focus on Niger, Senegal and Burkina Faso.

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